The Concept of Civility and the Roles of Manners in Civility


“Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs, and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process,” said Thomas Spath and Cassandra Dahnke, founders of the institute for civility in government. In other words, civility can be interpreted as supporting someone wholeheartedly and mindfully. Though thoughtfulness is not taught, depend on the person, it can be based on morals and how one is raised. An open mind is needed to understand and respect beliefs that differ from one’s own. Civility can easily be mirrored as consideration, manners and respect towards others.

When it comes to civility, one must take opposing views into consideration. Like civility, consideration can be a formal comparison. When considering an issue, He/She is thinking about a subject carefully and not too quickly. For instance, coming across a difficult decision, a person must think about all the possible outcomes and consequences that follow. In fact, graciousness promotes people to act considerately(1 Hall) and can be beneficial to both parties.”Civility really is a more broad term compared to being considerate”(1 Hall). One way a person should show consideration to others is by having empathy and putting others first. Prioritizing another person’s needs can create a sense of fulfillment and happiness. Showing compassion for others can also create a sense of satisfaction and personal joy.

Just in the same way, manners play a key role in civility. “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others”(4 Hall). Just as basic courtesy, etiquette shows that one has a sense of respect and propriety. For instance, during mock model United Nation trials, it is expected to show a level of civility. Having enough manners to not only listen to the views of one’s opponent, but to respectfully share one’s own opinion regardless if one agrees or not. This clearly displays an understanding of politeness and decorum. Carry yourself in a manner where

you respect yourself (1 Richman). One’s manners do not only represent how one treat others, but how they treat and view themself.

Finally, respect is one of the basic concepts when it comes to civility. Regarding comity, respect is having a positive attitude towards conflict (1 Richman) and considering the weight of one’s words before acting (1 Richman). People give and take respect in various ways; therefore, it can be understood differently depending on the person or situation. For example, there are those who respect their elders purely based on the fact that they are older, and those who only respect those who respect them. Another example would be seeing respect as holding one’s own regardless of others, which is the opposite of civility. Just as respect, civility could be interpreted in the wrong way. Someone who is not taught better could decipher it as sarcasm, or a mockery and decide to retaliate.

In conclusion, consideration, manners, and respect all coincide to clearly reflect civility. Each displaying a direct sense of awareness and politeness, the three words help promote a social acceptance. Though overall, civility stands for respectfully reaching a common goal; however, it

can be interpreted differently based on the person. With that being said, when it comes to civility, to each is own.


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